If being in jail or solitary confinement is expected to punish a human being, a social being, then surely when a dog is isolated to a back yard or chained or tethered in one spot it has the same effects on the canine soul. Dogs are domesticated, the most domesticated animal there is. Through the domestication process we have selected and bred dogs that have highly social genes. As a result of this selective breeding we now have dogs with personality traits that need our attention our time and our kind leadership. If our attention and participation in their lives is missing then dogs become lonely and bored. This loneliness leads to frustration and stress that leads to behavioral problems. Excessive barking, pacing, self mutilation and destructive behaviors are all symptoms displayed of a dog that is not having his mental and physical needs met by its guardian.
Dogs are not only very social beings they are also very inquisitive and like to explore. Dogs need to explore sniff and smell; they need the mental stimulation brought about by being exposed to new environments and new sight and sounds. Dogs also need the opportunity to meet and interact with their own species, other dogs. If they are restricted from companions or there life is reduced to a tedious environment then they suffer a horrible mental punishment. For a dog Loneliness is abandonment.
Many dogs find themselves reduced to a life in the yard isolated from their human pack because their behavior is such that living in the house is very stressful for their owners. Below is an example of the downward spiral we see in a dogs behavior because they receive no training and inadequate exercise
- Dog enters the home as a puppy or young dog – Owners are excited, dog is a bundle of fun but no management plan for the puppy is put into place.
- Dog is not housetrained correctly - Accidents occur outside the period that new owners deem normal so human frustrations begin.
- Dog is not leash trained – Puppy grows so leash pulling is now an aversive to the owners and walks become a chore.
- Dog is highly active – The dog has no leash manners so any social outings are reduced resulting in the dog not having its physical needs met.
- Dog becomes destructive – The dog is left alone in a state of arousal due to lack of exercise so the dog finds ways to mentally and physically stimulate itself. Chewing and destructive behaviors are observed.
- Dogs’ behavior gets worse – The owners become increasingly frustrated, the dog gets punished and the relationship breaks down. The dog is seen as an inconvenience.
- Dog is reduced to living in the yard.
- Dog now digs holes, chews at fencing or attempts to escape.
- Dog is now restrained to control its behavior.
Invest in some dog training lessons right off the bat whether you bring home a puppy or a mature dog. Teach the dog the basic skills that will ensure your dog can integrate into your life in a positive way. If your dog is still engaging in destructive behaviours and attempting to escape, a Perth fencing company can install an iron fence that your dog will not be able to chew through (this example, as you can see from this Orlando fence company).
Take the time to socialize and house train your dog. Teach your dog solid sit/down/stay behaviors and some nice leash skills then your dog is set up for a successful life sharing your home.